Veteran Indy 500 Racer Drives DW12 Chassis for 1st Time
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 3, 2015) – Davey Hamilton filled in for regular driver Townsend Bell Sunday in the No. 24 Robert Graham Special as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened for testing for the 99th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Hamilton, an 11-time Indy 500 starter, hadn’t driven the Dallara DW12 chassis until Sunday after his Indy 500 appearance was in 2011 and the Idaho native turned in 27 laps in the Chevrolet-powered Dreyer & Reinbold – Kingdom Racing machine. The 52-year-old short track racing star clocked a best lap of 219.960 miles per hour Sunday.
Hamilton is manager director of Kingdom Racing, the partner of the team’s Indy 500 entry.
Bell, an eight-time Indy 500 starter, was not available to test the No. 24 Robert Graham Special due to his racing commitments in the TUDOR United Sports Car Series. Townsend drove the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari at Monterey, Calif., this weekend but will be in cockpit of the No. 24 Robert Graham Special when Indy 500 practice continues on Monday, May 11.
“That was my first time in the DW12 chassis,” said Hamilton. “I have not driven an IndyCar since 2011 with the old car. But it felt good to run around this place again. With Townsend (Bell) on the West Coast for the sports car race, it was good for our team to get the shake down run with the Chevrolet bodywork. I think we have a direction to go with the car when Townsend comes back to drive. Actually, I think these cars are easier to drive than the old chassis. Plus you have the clutch on the steering wheel and just a lot of little things in the cockpit that are different. So I had to get use to that stuff. We didn’t run too much but I got up to 220 for a start. I will tell Townsend I got the first 220 in the car and now he has to get the rest.”
Team owner Dennis Reinbold was pleased with Hamilton’s performance Sunday and the team’s learning of the new Chevrolet speedway body kit.
“It’s always a great feeling to come back to the Speedway,” said Reinbold. “We just ran 27 laps today with Davey (Hamilton) and we wanted to get some data with the new Chevrolet body kit. We accomplished that this afternoon. Davey did a great job to get us up to a good speed despite the limited laps. Those laps put us that much further ahead of the program when Townsend comes back on May 11 for the Indy 500 practice. It was a good day for us.”